During the PlayStation Showcase, Bungie unveiled the latest installment in the Marathon series – after a wait of nearly 30 years. The latest entry is an extraction shooter rather than a classic first-person shooter.
Before Destiny and Halo, Bungie created a series of shooters for the Mac. Marathon, the story of a seemingly nameless security officer aboard the UESC Marathon, ran across three games released from 1994-96. An early experiment in storytelling in shooters, the series tells an exceptionally complex story that weaves together AIs degrading into madness, the ancient history of the universe, and the ways every possible alternate universe affect our own.
The original series was firmly in the tradition of Doom: a 2.5D shooter that put emphasize on speed, firepower, and puzzles (fiendish puzzles in Marathon‘s case).
What is an extraction shooter? It’s a combination of a battle royal and a looter shooter that introduces both PvE (mobs and minibosses for all players to fight), as well as allowing players to extract their loot from a round. Games in this genre include Hunt: Showdown and Escape from Tarkov.
What can players expect from the new game?
A massive ghost ship hangs in low orbit over a lost colony on Tau Ceti IV. The 30,000 souls who call this place home have disappeared without a trace. Strange signals hint at mysterious artifacts, long-dormant AI, and troves of untold riches. You are a Runner, venturing into the unknown in a fight for fame… and infamy. Who among you will write their names across the stars?Marathon the Game
In an interview with the PlayStation Blog, the game’s director Christopher Barrett said, “We have a tremendous amount of respect for the original Marathon games and, from the very start, we’ve wanted to honor that, especially the mythology, story, and themes of the world. At the same time, our vision for this game is something new.”
He went on to say that while it’s not a direct sequel, it is part of the original setting, and promises “references and deep cuts,” while also being “something different and new.” As very few of Marathon‘s original creators still work at Bungie, this game will inevitably be a different beast.
Bungie also released a video previewing its approach to the game.
The new Marathon‘s webpage may be found here. Bungie has not announced a release date, and stated it will be a significant amount of time until it makes further announcements. The game is expected to release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X & S, and PC.
You can play the original Marathon games in a form that runs easily and natively on modern computers here, and find Hamish Sinclair’s exceptional, detailed fansite here.
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Featured Image: Marathon the Game
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